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What I'm Reading: Articles and Essays

Please forgive the formatting of this post–blogger is sometimes out of control, or at least out of my technical capabilities! Still some articles worth reading:

"Red Family, Blue Family," New York Times, May 9, 2010. This is a great op-ed exploring abortion, teen pregnancy, family values, and the sexual revolution. A quote:

"Liberals sometimes argue that their preferred approach to family life reduces the need for abortion. In reality, it may depend on abortion to succeed. The teen pregnancy rate in blue Connecticut, for instance, is roughly identical to the teen pregnancy rate in red Montana. But in Connecticut, those pregnancies are half as likely to be carried to term. Over all, the abortion rate is twice as high in New York as in Texas and three times as high inMassachusetts as in Utah. So it isn't just contraception that delays childbearing in liberal states, and it isn't just a foolish devotion to abstinence education that leads to teen births and hasty marriages in conservative America. It's also a matter of how plausible an option abortion seems, both morally and practically, depending on who and where you are."

Along related lines, "Poverty and the Pill" New York Times, May 20,2010. Nicholas Kristoff relates statistics about birth control around the world. A quotation that demonstrates the significance and complexity of the issue:"If contraception were broadly available in poor countries, the report said, more than 50 million unwanted pregnancies could be averted annually. One result would be 25 million fewer abortions per year. Another would be saving the lives of as many as 150,000 women who now die annually in childbirth."

"What Did Jesus Do?" The New Yorker, May 20, 2010. This article provides a helpful summary of contemporary scholarship surrounding "the historical Jesus." With that said, I disagree with the conclusions of many of those scholars and with this article. It is helpful to read it in conjunction with Scot McKnight's "The Jesus We'll Never Know" from Christianity Today's April issue. McKnight argues that historical Jesus scholarship inevitably recreates the Jesus it wants to discover.

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